52-58 Main Street

Architectural Description: 

Colonial Revival commercial business block.

Historical Narrative: 

52 Main Street ARCO Building, (Andover Realty Company)
formerly included #48, 50, 52, 54, 56 & 58
Built in 1907

The ARCO Building, (Andover Realty Company) was constructed in 1907 on the site of the former Stephen Dinsmore / Capt. Richardson house at 54 Main Street. The property was purchased in 1906 by the Andover Press Ltd. to build the Press Building at #60. The remaining portion of the lot to the north was sold to the Andover Realty Company in December 1906. The Dinsmore/Richardson house was razed the first week of December 1906 by Hardy & Cole who had the contract for the new building. There was also a small store at #50 between Dean’s store #46 to the north and the house. The single store was occupied at the time by Andrew Basso’s fruit store, This building with Basso’s business was temporally moved to Chestnut Street to the rear of the Press building.

The ARCO building originally had four stores on the ground level of the two story building, # 48, #50, #54, & #56, and a one story store #58 connecting the ARCO building to the Press building. Professional offices, hair salons, etc. occupied the second floor listed at #52 which is the center entrance and stairway to the upper level. When the building was completed in 1907 all the windows on the upper level had green shutters which created a visual balance to the green storefronts below.

The first level remained as built until 1953 when Elander & Swanton, then the owners of the building, expanded their men’s apparel store first into #58 and in 1955 to annexed #54. Their facade was modernized with larger windows, a blue aluminum signage band above defining the size of the expanded store. The north end of the building remained as built. Carl Elander opened his tailoring and haberdashery shop in the Valpey building at #2 Main Street in 1916, relocated to the Carter Block at #7 Main Street. In September 1928 E & S moved to the ARCO Building.

When E&S closed in1975 the store was remodeled and CVS Pharmacy opened at this location. The facade windows were replaced by a ¾ wall of yellow-brown pebble dash material with narrow rectangular windows above that neither complemented the building or the downtown business district. It was later replaced with a more traditional “Colonial” wood facade across the entire lower level of the building which CVS continued to occupy. CVS moved in 1992 to the Barcello’s new building at #68. Paradox, women’s clothing and gifts moved here in the Fall of 1992 to April 24, 1993. The facade was again remodeled in 1993 with the engaged columns added to the current look for Royal Jewelers in 1993 which continues to occupy the space in 2014.

Dec. 6, 1906 AT pg 4 "New Business Block on Main Street. – The fruit store occupied by Andrew Basso has been moved temporarily to Chestnut Street in the rear of the new Andover Press Building. The building was removed from its original position to make room for the new business block to be built on the land between J. William Dean’s store and the Andover Press building."
"The Richardson house, which was one of Andover’s land marks, has been torn down this week and the site will also be included in the building to be erected. The work of tearing down is being done by Hardy & Cole who also have the contract for the new structure. The Andover Realty Company will be the owners of the building."
April 26, 1907 AT - "Rapid progress is now being made on the construction of the Andover Realty Company’s new building on Main Street. The carpenters have got well along in framing up."

August 30, 1907 AT - All the stores in the new ARCO building are let, and a few will be open for business soon after Labor Day. Herbert F. Chase expects to have his store ready for customers and the gift shop of Miss Goldsmith will soon be ready. Dr. McTernan will have his dental rooms on the second floor and Mrs. V. C. Leighton has engaged the other offices on the second floor for he new manicure parlors.

Herbert F. Chase owned a bicycle shop in the beginning, later expanded into athletic equipment & sporting goods. Chase had the distinction of being the first tenant in the new buildings at #13 Barnard St. in 1891, the Musgrove building in 1895 and the ARCO building in 1907. Jerome P. Cross also moved his Coal Co. office into the building in late 1907.

Sept. 13, 1907 - Mrs. V. G. Leighton is now settled in her attractive new apartments and prepared to receive customers. She is showing some new things in combs, toilet articles, etc. A specialty is made of cleaning the scalp.
Pg. 4 The New Art Store – in the ARCO - long article

Sept. 27, 1907 AT - The Western Union Telegraph Co. will have an office in the new ARCO building.
pg. 6 J. H. Playdon’s store in the ARCO building (#58) - The New Flower Store - “Aren’t those flowers lovely” Oh! What a pretty store”, “I’m so glad we’ve got a florist’s shop uptown”, etc., etc, are the comments made about J. H. Playdon’s store in the ARCO building. And it is a very attractive place. One window is filled with ferns with a great bunch of Japanese lilies in the centre, and in the other window begonias of all colors and kinds make a background for the handsome gladiolae displayed. Hanging in small baskets are little Japanese ferns greatly adding to the attractiveness.
Fresh cut flowers come every day from the greenhouses in Frye Village, where Mr. Playdon makes a specialty of carnations, violets, roses, chrysanthemums, and the beautiful specimens shown amply testify to his knowledge of the care of flowers. (1924 moved to #60 Main in Press Building)

Oct. 4, 1907 AT - William H. Guillemette has opened his tailoring establishment in the new ARCO building and is now fully prepared to do tailoring, cleaning & pressing of garments….. (Was located on the second floor of Valpey block at one time)

Grecoe Jeweler #48, The Stratford Shop #50, The Dame Shop #50, at #54 O. P. Chase periodicals 1910, Andover News Co. 1932-1953, The Paper Store 54 & 48, & Kenneth P. Thompson #48 in 1957-1968, Playdon Florist #58 1907-1924, Western Union #58, The Andover Townsman, #58, McDonald Coal Co. #58, Elander & Swanton #56 in Sept. 1928, S.K. Ames Butter & Eggs, H. F. Chase Sporting goods & cameras shop, Cross Coal Co. Andover Art Studio frame shop. CVS Pharmacy 1974-1991, Paradox, women’s clothing and gifts Fall of 1992 to April 24, 1993, Royal Jewelers 1993.

Second floor;
W.H. Guilmette, tailor, 50 Main Street (1898/1908), Briggs Allen Private School 1908-1941, Dr. McTernan DDS 1907, Mrs. Leighton manicure salon 1907, Howe Insurance & Real Estate 1955-1977, Ethel G. Loud, Interior Decorating (1959), Coiffures by M.F. (1959) “formerly Marie’s”Marie’s of Andover, Nails by Michelle (1971), One Step Ahead, 56 Main (1984, 2000,hair, )Andover Tanning Center, upstairs (1985/2001), Nicolosi Custom Tailor (1979/80), Somdarya Spa (2009-present), Dovetail, beauty salon (upstairs) (2012) Andover Nail Care Center (1999), Andover Holistic Center (1999)


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Directories: 1926, 1932, 1943, 195
Maps: 1852, 1872, 1884, 1896, 1906, 1930
Gail Ralston - Main Street master list 2012

Stephen Dinsmore
David C. Richardson
Richardson Heirs; William C., James H. Richardson & Lucy A. Hopkins
John N. Cole - Feb. 26, 1906 - b. 229 p. 98
Andover Press Ltd. - Feb. 26, 1906 - b. 229 p. 91-99
Andover Realty Co. ARCO - Dec. 6, 1906 - b. 240 p. 471
Andover Realty Co. ARCO - Mar. 25, 1914 - b. 341 p. 413 deed correction
Andover Press Ltd. - May 28, 1929 - b. 546 p. 151
Andover Realty Co. ARCO - May 28, 1929 - b. 546 p. 152
Cole, Head & Hanson - June 26, 1946 - b. 686 p. 55
Elander & Swanton Realty Co. - Oct. 22, 1946 - b. 690 p. 131
W.M.K.L. Realty - May 16, 1974 - b. 1241 p. 2
Donald & Barbara Richmond - June 19, 1975 - b. 1261 p. 755
ARCO Properties, LLC - June 26, 2007 - b. 10810 p. 155 doc. 9&10

Inventory Data:

StreetMain St
PlaceAndover Center
Historic DistrictNot Applicable
Historic NameARCO Building
Present UseRetail / Commercial
Original UseRetail / Commercial
Construction Date1907
Architectural StyleColonial Revival
Architect/BuilderHardy & Cole builders
Foundationstone & granite
Wall/Trimbrick / wood
Major AlterationsBuilt as five separate store fronts, In the 1950s stores were consolidated as retailer expanded. No one large store.
Demolition Details1906 Richardson house
Settingcommercial business district
Map and parcel39-30
Recorded byBrian Lee (cwo), James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Historical Society - Andover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJuly 1992, 4/2014